Thursday, April 2, 2015

Review: Atlantia by Ally Condie

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

I've always been kind of obsesses with Atlantis stories. I'm one of those people who reads the non-fiction books about finding it, watches the Discovery Channel specials, and actually considers where in the world it could have gone. So when I heard that Ally Condie was writing an Atlantis type book, I was beyond excited. The cover is gorgeous, the tagline is haunting and I was drooling for months before I was able to read it. 

The world of Atlantia is very cool. With metal trees, an inter-city water subway, and fascinating religious rituals, I wish that we had been given a chance to explore it a little more thoroughly. Rio was so focused on escaping Atlantia, she often ignored the beauty that was right in front of her. Granted, that is part of the point, but I still selfishly wanted to revel in the world a bit more. 

I've always thought that Condie is a beautiful writer. Her words are lyrical and sometimes magical. However, I've found that in most of her books that the beauty of the writing occasionally takes away from the strength of the plot. When this happens I'm left with a sense that is something is missing, that perhaps I got so swept up in the writing that I didn't connect to the characters as deeply as I should have. 

Such is the case for Atlantia. It's an incredibly written book, and I very much enjoyed it. On the same level, I wish I had enjoyed it on a deeper level of connection with the spirits of the characters than the art of its prose. If you enjoy books about Atlantis, sisterhood, and finding where you truly belong, then definitely give this one a shot. 

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